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Thread: barefoot running anybody?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Twister's Avatar
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    barefoot running anybody?

    After training unsuccessfully for the beachy head marathon, becoming injured and not competing I've had time to reflect on my running recently and have stumbled upon a new (for me anyway) way of thinking about running. I've been reading about different techniques and philosophy such as chi-running, pose method and barefoot running.

    It seems that they all have things in common; a disbelief in modern shoe manufacturing (ie - too much cushioning interfering with the foots natural movement). A need to perfect running form; maintaining alignment through the body and keeping feet parallel and the mid/forefoot strike as opposed to the heel strike (this is okay for fell runners as it's pretty impossible to heel strike running up a steep hill)

    All these methods proclaim to being the holy grail against injury, which is the direction I would like to take my training!

    Has any forumites had experience with any of the above methods, I'm especially interested in weather anyone does barefoot fell running?

  2. #2
    Senior Member SteveS's Avatar
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    Re: barefoot running anybody?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twister View Post
    I'm especially interested in weather anyone does barefoot fell running?
    Only when my left sole and upper fell apart completely 2 miles into the Crowden Horseshoe last year and I was left without a shoe. I finished the race, but in the process broke 3 toes. I'm sure loads of people on here have similar tales, or lost shoes to the Bogmonster midrun.

    Running through peat was actually quite nice. Anything even vaguely rocky was a nightmare.

    Nike make the Nike free which is supposed to emulate barefoot running but still protects the sole of the foot and toes. I have no personal experience and it could all be a marketting ploy, but I've heard good comments. Whether they have actually prevented any injuries in those people who can tell?

  3. #3
    Grandmaster IanDarkpeak's Avatar
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    Re: barefoot running anybody?

    Hi Twister

    Try these guys, I posted something about them a few weeks a go.

    One of them won a marathon barefoot. How about it Andi?

    Barefoot running

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    Re: barefoot running anybody?

    There was a fella on the S4C coverage of the Snowdonia marathon who was running barefoot.

    sheer lunacy!

    I've been running along the beach in norfolk, but never even considered trying it on roads/ fells.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Twister's Avatar
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    Re: barefoot running anybody?

    That chap who ran the snowdonian marathon talks about his experiences on the barefoot running website, If I remember correctly it was on the yahoo forum.

    personally I wouldn't run barefoot all the time but I think it is a useful training tool to get yourself running with the correct posture and to foot strike properly - as they say on the barefoot website if you jumped off a ladder would you land on you heels? Running barefoot forces you to adopt a mid foot strike, but more importantly teaches you how to run softer if that makes any sense.

    Has anyone had experience with these:

    http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/

    They look great but they are a tad pricey.

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    Master Pilgrim's Avatar
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    Re: barefoot running anybody?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twister View Post
    That chap who ran the snowdonian marathon talks about his experiences on the barefoot running website, If I remember correctly it was on the yahoo forum.

    personally I wouldn't run barefoot all the time but I think it is a useful training tool to get yourself running with the correct posture and to foot strike properly - as they say on the barefoot website if you jumped off a ladder would you land on you heels? Running barefoot forces you to adopt a mid foot strike, but more importantly teaches you how to run softer if that makes any sense.

    Has anyone had experience with these:

    http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/

    They look great but they are a tad pricey.

    Hmm... I'm tempted to give them a try.

    Now how do you fit studs to them?!

  7. #7
    Member Hyporunner's Avatar
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    Re: barefoot running anybody?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilgrim View Post
    Hmm... I'm tempted to give them a try.

    Now how do you fit studs to them?!
    Nail Gun through the sole......

    When doing track sessions, I always do the warm up (about a mile and a bit) and the cool down (about a Km and a bit) in barefoot. I personally find that I do tend to run more efficiently during the summer season and get less injuries with my calves if I continue the track training through the summer. I make a conscience effort to pronate (not slap my foot down) and push off through the toes when barefoot running.

    I also occasionally do some barefoot quality runs around a cricket pitch, as it tends to me more forgiving than the track if I get a footplant wrong....

    BTW One of my excuses for a niggle injury filled year is too much fell and not enough track

  8. #8
    Senior Member Fat-Lad's Avatar
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    Re: barefoot running anybody?

    Colin Valentine of Keswick AC back in the 80's use to compete in fell races in barefeet
    Last edited by Fat-Lad; 15-01-2010 at 11:19 AM.

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    Re: barefoot running anybody?

    Yes I've seen Colin Valentine running fell races barefoot. Three Shires, I think, was one. With the proliferation of 'fell' shoes (I use the punctuation marks forcefully) and trail shoes around nowadays, I still can't see why anyone would race in shoes with huge midsoles and toecaps and heel protectors (or whatever all those things are called). I've avoided any ankle injuries throughout 25 years of fell running by not wearing ankle-stabilising shoes. They just get your ankle used to not moving, not adjusting to terrain, not working. My wife has recently been running in those weird sock-like barefoot running shoes and swears by them though you wouldn't fancy them in ice and rain. Walsh racers, with their lack of any obvious midsole and good all-weather studs, haven't been improved on since I started fell running. Not by Nike or Adidas or Inov-8 or the rest.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dylan's Avatar
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    Re: barefoot running anybody?

    i have ran barefoot while doing speed sessions on a very nice,clean,well maintained playing field.(about 1200 mts around)
    first couple of times was a bit strange as feet were sore where they had never been sore before,but after a while i found my stride,cadence and general well being improved.
    i got my insperation after reading ron hills book,he ran a lot barefoot but just taped his toes for road races,and who can forget the fluid style of zola budd!
    try it,you have nothing to loose.
    once a week until you feel more comftable.

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